The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to make public the list of corporate loan defaulters with outstanding loans over Rs 500 crores to public sector banks, in the next four weeks.
The court has also asked for "empiricial data" on recovery cases pending for last ten years in debt recovery tribunals (DRTs) and their appellate bodies.
A bench comprising of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud dismissed Reserve Bank's reservations into making the information public, TOI reported. A list comprising of 57 defaulters who owe a combined Rs 85,000 crores was submitted to the court late last year.
Coming down heavily on the Centre, the bench sought to know if the government was moving fast enough to fix basic infrastructure and manpower issues at the Debt Recovery Tribunal and debt recovery appellate tribunals (DRATs), which together decide debt recovery cases on default matters.
Despite having huge outstanding amounts at stake, most of the 34 debt recovery tribunals lack basic infrastructure and manpower and have over 70,000 pending cases related to the recovery of nearly Rs 5 lakh crores that go back over 10 years, the bench noted. Since these tribunals were established in 1993, they have resolved about 1.34 lakh cases, and helped recover Rs 70,725 crores.
It specifically asked the government whether any scientific studies have been conducted on the availability of infrastructure and "what steps the Union government intends to adopt to enhance the infrastructure of debt recovery tribunals and the appellate tribunals in terms of physical infrastructure, judicial manpower and non-judicial personnel required for the efficacious functioning of the tribunals".
With PTI inputs